The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development today announced that USDA, on October 1, 2023, will begin using the most recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine program eligibility for Rural Development programs.
Beginning in Fiscal Year 2024, the agency will use 2020 Decennial Census population data and 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS) income data to determine eligibility. The agency previously used 2010 Decennial Census population data and 2006-2010 ACS data.
Rural Development will also unveil updated online program eligibility maps. The maps will help individuals and organizations applying for Fiscal Year 2024 funding to quickly determine if an area is considered rural and/or eligible for Rural Development programs. The updated maps will be posted to the RD Eligibility Site.
The agency will continue to use 2010 census population data and 2006-2010 ACS income data to process complete applications submitted prior to Sept. 30, 2023, if the:
- Funds are obligated by June 30, 2024; or
- Funds are obligated after June 30, 2024, and the agency administrator has provided concurrence that the
application remains eligible under these metrics; or
- Funds are obligated by Sept. 30, 2024, for programs that accept applications on a rolling basis. These programs are the Intermediary Relending Program, Rural Energy for America Program, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.
For more information about the transition to the 2020 Decennial Census data and 2017-2021 ACS data, please contact your RD State Office representative at https://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/state-offices.
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